Italian Checkers – The Romantic Version of the Game of Checkers?
There is a variation of checkers that is not that well known all over the world, although it is widely played in Italy and certain North African countries. Called Italian checkers, it is also known by the name “Dama Italiana”.
To the casual player, Italian checkers looks a lot like American checkers, with one major difference: the board on which the game is played is inverted. There are some other significant differences with other versions of checkers as well, which will become apparent when you take a closer look at the rules with regard to captures.
Italian Checkers Rules
Italian checkers is played on an 8x8 board, making for a total of 64 squares. The board is set up in such a way that the double corner is towards the left of each player. The player that is assigned the white pieces makes the first move of the game.
Italian Checkers Moves
Each of the regular pieces is allowed to move towards each left and right square in a forward direction, as long as that square is empty. Arriving on the last row of the opposite side of the board, promotes a regular piece to king. In Italian checkers, kings are allowed to move towards each empty square around them, in either a forward or backward direction.
Italian Checkers Captures
If there are several capture options available to a player, he or she must choose the option that will result in the most number of captures. A player can only stop on a certain square if there are no more capture options available.
Regular pieces do not have the power to capture kings. When there are several capture options available to a player, and all of them will result in the same number of captures, her is she must capture with a king if the option to do so is possible. In addition, when several capture options are available, the player must choose the one that will result in a king as soon as possible.
Italian checkers allows regular pieces to only capture in a forward direction, by jumping over an opponent’s checkers piece, as long as there is a piece near it, and the square on the other side of it is empty. If there is another capture option available from the destination square, the player must proceed with the capture. Kings are allowed to capture both forward and backward, and they have the power to capture both kings and regular pieces.
The game ends when a player no longer has any legal moves left.